By Cole Parkinson
Spider-Man: No Way Home has been out for several weeks now so it’s time to talk about the most anticipated Spidey movie in a long time.
If you haven’t seen No Way Home yet, I’d advise you to turn away from this column for the time being because we’re about to dive deep into some spoiler territory. But before we get to that, I loved the movie and if you’re a Spider-Man fan and haven’t seen the movie yet — what are you doing? Go see it already! I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen because it won’t be the same at your house.
The movie starts right after the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home and from there, the movie gets going quickly and the pace really doesn’t let up much from there. The first big reveal is the return of Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil who offers Peter, Happy Hogan, and Aunt May some legal advice — also adding he’s a “really good lawyer.”
I have to admit, the rumours of Cox returning were out there, but to finally see him back as Murdock was a treat. The Netflix series is absolutely fantastic and the entire main cast should be brought back for future MCU stories. And Vincent D’Onofrio, who played Kingpin in that series, returned a few days later in Hawkeye, so that is super exciting. I can’t wait to see them all back in action in the MCU.
While Tony Stark played a large part in Homecoming and was hanging over Peter in Far From Home, Stark or his name isn’t leaned on much on this film, which is a good thing. Instead, Pete looks for help from Dr. Strange to cast a spell so everyone on earth forgets he is Spider-Man — minus a few people, which creates quite a bit of chaos.
While we knew plenty of old villains were returning, it was still amazing to see Doctor Octopus return on the big screen. I do wish they would have kept all of the multiverse stuff a secret because the theatre would have exploded if no one knew what was coming. I understand they probably couldn’t have kept it a secret for marketing purposes and whatnot, but I think it would have been spectacular if they did. On top of Doc Ock, Norman Osborn/Green Goblin and Dr. Curt Conners/Lizard are also found roaming around MCU New York.
While I think the Lizard is the weakest villain brought back, Willem Dafoe’s Goblin and Alfred Molina’s Ock are spitting images of where we left them in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. It’s almost like no time has passed at all. Both slipped right back into those roles with almost no effort and they shine every time they are on screen.
The upgrades made to Electro (Jamie Foxx) is also a huge win compared to when we last saw him in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The blue is gone and he’s more comic correct, which is for the better. Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) is also back and while he’s entirely sand for the vast majority of his screen time, I think they did a pretty good job — though he’s nowhere near as developed as Goblin, Ock, or Electro.
And while plenty of credit needs to be given to Foxx, Dafoe, and Molina, I do think this is Tom Holland’s best performance so far. It’s his movie from start to finish.
With the worst kept secret in Hollywood, the movie also sees the return of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire as the two previous Peter Parkers. And like with the villains, both are in top form and it’s like no time has passed at all. I also felt Sony did Garfield dirty with how badly they mishandled his movies and to see him back in the suit again made me as giddy as a schoolgirl. I may be in the minority, but I do think Garfield is my favourite Spidey, it’s just too bad Sony was so focused on building a universe instead of great Spider-Man movies. His redemption arc in this film is great from start to finish and I really hope the rumours of him returning as the “Sony Spider-Man” are true because he deserves a shot to finish his trilogy.
Maguire is just as good as the other two and his scene stopping MCU Peter from killing Goblin was so powerful. The fact he doesn’t even say any words, but can convey everything in a single look was perfect. The joke about his back hurting was also a great callback. The interaction between all three Spideys was truly the best. It had every reason to fail by throwing this many characters together, but everyone knocked it out of the park. Having all three on the screen is one of the best experiences I’ve had at the movies.
While rumours continue to swirl around both Maguire and Garfield returning in some capacity in the future, I don’t hate the idea, but I also hope they don’t overdo it. Having them back should only be done if necessary and not just to exploit the popularity of Spider-Man, which seems to be continuing to grow. Like I said earlier, I’d love to see Garfield return to finish his trilogy, but I hope they do a small scale Spider-Man story that focuses on Peter.
No building towards a future Sinister Six, no global scale threat — just a personal story. That’s what makes Spider-Man so relatable — the fact he’s just an everyday guy dealing with issues we all face, minus the fact he has spider abilities.
And let’s not forget this leaves MCU Spider-Man in quite the predicament where no one remembers Peter Parker. Holland has been wishy-washy on whether or not he’ll return, but once Disney and Sony back up the Brinks trucks, I bet he returns.
And there’s so much more to do with this version of Spidey. This feels like a prequel trilogy that ends with Peter finally growing into the Spider-Man role we all know and love. Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery is vast and very impressive, so I’d be incredibly interested in a new trilogy focused on college-aged Peter. Kraven, Scorpion, Kingpin, Hobgoblin, Venom, or even Rhino could be brought to the MCU. Mac Gargan (Scorpion) already appeared in Homecoming and now that J. Jonah Jameson is in the MCU, I’d love to see that storyline brought to the big screen.
Either way, it’s an exciting time to be a Spider-Man fan.